It has been over a week since we gathered together and celebrated Easter. It was a wonderful day as people gathered to worship our risen Lord and Savior. Since that day people have returned to their busy schedules. The stores have replaced the candy and baskets with their summer displays. The demands of life have slowly begun to overshadow that beautiful day of worship. It is easy to see how quickly Easter fades in our memory as we move further and further away from that Sunday.
My favorite hymns are “How Great Thou Art” and “Be Still My Soul.” In each of these hymns the melodic lines and harmonies blend together to highlight the text extremely well. I tear up every time I sing these two hymns because of the awe filled moments they capture; moments where we get overwhelmed trying to understand the magnitude of God’s never-ending love for us.
Starting in the 1960’s some of the greatest music being written and performed was coming from a small group of musicians on a label know as Tamla Records. Much of the music was written and produced by Barry Gordy Jr. In the early 60’s talent such as the Miracles, with lead singer Smokey Robinson, the Marvelettes, the Supremes, the Four Tops, and the Jackson 5 helped to make what would soon be known as Motown Records a worldwide phenomenon. In just one decade the artist and producers of Motown Records were responsible for a collective 110 top 10 Billboard hits. The world was singing the music of Hitsville U.S.A. Now, 50 some years later, multiple generations still know the wonderful music that came to us from Detroit, Michigan.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:12-13
On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
One of the most well-known songs in the church is the hymn, “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” This wonderful little song has been sung by countless people in churches around the world. It is taught to our children at an early age. It is often heard on the occasions of baptisms and Vacation Bible School. The familiar first verse goes like this:
One of my favorite Christian songs, that I often hear on KLOVE, is called “Fear Is a Liar” by Zack Williams. The first time I heard this song, it sent a very powerful message to me. It reminded me that too often my past comes back to haunt me. I feel like the devil tries to tell me things like, “You’re not good enough” or “You’re not worthy,” but these things are lies. Fear will make you believe only the negative things about yourself while having little to no hope for the future.
Did your mother or father ever sing you a lullaby or maybe a special song? Being a musical lover, I have always sung the song “A bushel and a peck” to my oldest! We make up new verses, do a little dance, and giggle the whole way through. It’s our special thing!
It’s no secret that most people in my family are great cooks, but that doesn’t apply to me. When we have family gatherings, I’m usually asked to bring the paper goods! I blame this, of course, on my parents. When I was a small child, they allowed me to start taking piano lessons. While some children “kind of like” playing the piano, I loved it! That’s really all I wanted to do—play the piano! But what does this have to do with cooking? While I was practicing piano, Mom was teaching my little sister to cook. My job was to help clean up afterward. Consequently, I can play the piano and my sister is an excellent cook!
Music has the powerful ability to create the most wonderful images in our minds. The melody and the lyrics combine to paint grand pictures on the pallets of our imagination. When we hear music, it transports us to a time and place, often far from our current situation. Music lifts our spirts, it makes us want to dance and it gives us words that accompany the most difficult and most joyful moments of our lives.